Like many who just happen to be unfortunate enough to live in this mundane and draining modern world that we all inhabit, Oso Oso isn’t unfamiliar with the concept of pessimism and cultural nihilism. The musical project of one Jade Lilitri, Oso Oso found critical acclaim on a global scale following the release of 2017’s dearly beloved The Yunahon Mixtape. His respective sophomore release, whilst the record radiated a sense of calmative anodyne, the album served as a musical exercise in pessimistic frustration, one that saw Lilitri channel his cynicism and accepted melancholy for relatable effect. However, despite it only being approximately two years since the release it appears Lilitri has had a revolution concerning his previously established outlook on life, one he charismatically documents with his latest record Basking In The Glow.
Like it’s respective moniker implies, Basking In The Glow is a musical experiment in Lilitri appreciating the passing moments of joy that life occasionally blesses us with. However, it’s not a contrastive U-turn in relation to his previously documented outlook. Basking In The Glow see’s Oso Oso acknowledge the fact that the negative days will always greatly outnumber the positive ones, that maintaining a positive mindset will always be an uphill, exhausting struggle and that no matter how much you truly appreciate jubilance, the darkness is always destined to return. However, it’s a record that states that in order to survive modern bleakness, an appreciation of the good times is crucial. It’s a statement that’s delivered in charming, characteristic and melodic indie rock tinged emo, and without a doubt, Basking In The Glow is Oso Oso’s most polished and mature work to date.
Opening with the delicate strings of the introductory track and the pleasant, rainy summer’s day mid western emo of ‘The View’, the tonal shift in Oso Oso’s art is subtle, but notable. The deadpan poetry that made The Yunhahon Mixtape such an initially arresting listen is all evident but the glucose saccharine lyricism is far more mature, and in a fashion, experienced. This only becomes evident with the record’s title track and the electric major/minor wrestle of ‘Dig (II)’, compositions that see’s Lilitri poetically confront his personal battle with his deep rooted pessimism. Despite the lyrical battles within, they are palliative and consoling sedative tracks; the musical equivalent of jubilantly splashing in the puddles from a sudden summers storm as you gaze up and grin at the silver linings of the iron clouds above.
Despite it’s bright disposition, much like our collective outlooks in this day and age, the warmth and elation does indeed wane and wax. Of course, such is the lyrical focus of this record. ‘Impossible Game’ and the crackle coated ‘One Sick Plan’ see’s Lilitri fall back and ponder misanthropy, all before returning to the light again. These tracks, and in essence, the entire record, see’s Lilitri tenderly and poetically explore such wrestles with charisma and skill, utilising his honest, borderline deadpan lyricism for beautiful effect.
Basking In The Glow also see’s Lilitri flex his musical muscles and tinker with the record’s respective textures. The beautiful, sombrely soothing ‘Priority Change’ and the haywire electric pace of ‘Wake Up Next To God’ see Lilitri experiment with the previously established sensibilities of the record’s respective genre, adapting it’s palpable sonic textures to fit and suit his will whilst amplifying the genre’s synonymous ethereal ideologies. It’s a record to get lost in, one that’s simultaneously deeply personal yet at the same time, completely relatable on a spiritual level.
In all, Basking In The Glow see’s Oso Oso evolve and mature whilst truly appreciating the moments of joy that come and go in contrast to just worrying about their departure. Those who previously found comfort and solace in the sounds courtesy of bands such as Turnover, Citizen and Elder Brother will find plenty to fawn over within this release. A wonderful, blissful sonic exploration of finding the glittering joys in the darkest of shadows that are frequently casted upon us.
Basking In The Glow is out now via Triple Crown Records